An afternoon drive down the Richardson Highway

Posted by lwpetersen | July 3, 2011 | travel alaska

Clearwater River - Delta

Kate and I decided to head out for our first anniversary and drove south down the Richardson. We stopped to have a brief picnic by the Clearwater River, a spring-fed river that flows into the Tanana near Delta Junction. Thunder was rumbling to our north.

For some reason we haven’t made the drive south of Delta yet, until yesterday. Every time we think of it we head the western route to Denali National Park instead. Even on Saturday we almost didn’t go because we were worried there wouldn’t be much to see since it was overcast and the forecast was for rain. We went anyway and below are some of the things that we saw, or you can view the full set in the flickr lightbox here.

Donnelly Dome

Donnelly Dome, with its head in the clouds can even be seen from Delta Junction and it kind of sticks out of the lower hills like a sore thumb. A really pretty sore thumb.

Low clouds high land
The landscape here always seems endless despite the fact that it changes every 15 minutes of driving. Today the clouds seemed to rise out of the open green Taiga.

Low Rolling
Looking east near Donnelly Dome.

Donnelly Dome Southeast Side
Another view of Donnelly Dome, this time from the southeast. Its head came out of the clouds for a few minutes before once again being overtaken.

Delta in the Alaska Range - Cloudy
The highway quickly descends into the Delta River valley. Even through the clouds and haze the tall peaks of the Alaska Range were visible.

Cloudy Mountains
White, green, grey and purple were the colors of the day.

Hiding
Just because it’s cloudy and raining doesn’t mean it is not a gorgeous summer day. Peaks galore surround you on the Richardson Highway in the Alaska Range.

Pipeline
The mountains were holding back the clouds to the west of the oil pipeline. Flowers were in full bloom all over the place in Castner Creek.

Castner Valley
More of the Castner Creek valley. I wished there was a little more Sun hitting the valley floor to really make the flowers in the foreground pop, but I’ll make do with what I have.

Colors
Ok.

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